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Expanded Heartwood Center to open next month

skylight-event-space-1-med

Almost a year after receiving a city loan to help finance the project, the Heartwood Center is preparing to open its expanded office space at 1818 Dempster St. in Evanston early next month.

Painters at work in the new 'Skylight' event space (Kim Pierceall photo).

Almost a year after receiving a city loan to help finance the project, the Heartwood Center is preparing to open its expanded office space at 1818 Dempster St. in Evanston early next month.

The center, which rents space to a variety of holistic healthcare providers, is doubling it office space in the expansion and also adding an all-occasion event space called Skylight, available for parties, ceremonies, workshops and classes.

Practitioners at Heartwood have provided acupuncture, massage, psychotherapy, yoga, tai chi, and meditation since 1999. Originally located at Maple and Davis Street downtown, the center moved to its current location in 2010.

Heartwood owner Nancy Floy says the expansion makes Heartwood suitable for a wider range of providers.

“One of the benefits of doing this build-out from scratch was that we could add new features that other types of practitioners would need,” Floy said. “With in-room sinks and some larger office configurations, physicians, chiropractors, osteopaths, naturopathic physicians, nutritionists, physical therapists, and others will have efficient treatment rooms where they can see patients and clients.”

Dozens of people turned out last summer at an Economic Development Committee meeting to support the request for a $100,000 city loan to help fund the $250,000 expansion project.

Floy said Heartwood’s membership model helps self-employed practitioners grow their businesses with in-house referrals, instant networking, marketing assistance, a group office, communal kitchen, storage and monthly rental rates. Subleasing opportunities with Heartwood’s current community of successful practitioners are also available with daily or hourly rental options.

The newly renovated, 12,000-square-foot space includes 12 additional treatment rooms, a second waiting area and additional restrooms. Floy says only a few of the new offices are still available for rent.

She says the 3,500 square foot special event and conference facility includes a full catering kitchen, small conference room, and four private bathrooms and can accommodate nearly 300 people. Tables, chairs, and audio equipment are included in the rental.

“Our classroom at Heartwood has always been popular for all kinds of gatherings, from dance parties to lectures and workshops by visiting teachers and experts,” says Terri Clemens, Heartwood's business manager. “We have always wanted to offer a larger space so more people could enjoy the fun, the celebrations, and the learning experiences here.”

Paul Zalmezak of the city’s economic development unit says the renovation "will stabilize an important business district on Evanston’s west side.”

Zalmezak says the independent practitioners at Heartwood "are an important element of our entrepreneurial spirit in Evanston and provide a service that improves people’s lives."

He says city officials hope the conference center will lead to more tourist dollars being spent in the city.

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